Batteries, Fuel Cells – or Something Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We’re coming to a parting of the ways in energy storage development for electric cars.  Or we may be coming to a joining of technologies in new and previously unimagined ways.  One side, led by Elon Musk and his Tesla Empire, promotes battery power and development.  Yet, in Tesla’s home state of California, government and private investments in hydrogen vehicles is growing.   Several Asian and European automakers are bringing out fuel cell powered vehicles in the face of low numbers of existing fueling stations.  For all the promotion from either side, future “green” cars may become too expensive for private ownership, and various approaches to providing personal mobility may replace the traditional owner-driver model.  Regardless of the outcomes or market …

Racing Improves the Electric Breed

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

September 2014 will mark the debut of a new electric racing series, Formula E, with all the things essential to aeronautical design – light weight, strength, speed, and power – highlighted in abundance. Staged as a series of 10 races around the world on city streets, the series will field 10 teams, each with two Spark-Renault SRT-01E racers.  This is the first electric race vehicle to be homologated, or approved, by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the international body overseeing formula and rally car racing. The cars’ monocoque aluminum and carbon fiber chassis “fully complies with the 2014 FIA crash tests – the same used to regulate Formula One.  The French firm Spark Racing Technology, along with others including …